Ma Huateng: Never Give up the Dream of “Scoring Stunning Goals” in the Science and Technology Arena
On August 23, the first Smart China Expo opened in Chongqing. Ma Huateng (Pony Ma), chairman of the Board and CEO of Tencent, delivered a speech at the event. He expressed that digital technology will play a key role in boosting high-quality development, transformation and upgrading of various industries, and basic scientific research. Tencent will offer the most effective digital interface and the most abundant digital toolbox, and will work together with the government and enterprises to build a digital ecosystem to promote innovation and development of the smart industry. At the Expo, Ma Huateng announced that Tencent would establish its southwest headquarters in Chongqing.
Ma Huateng, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Tencent
Ma Huateng said that compared with our counterparts in Europe and America, we still have a long way to go in many fields. The Sino-US trade frictions not only make us see the reality more clearly, but also have an impact on the collaborative innovation of the global technology industry, and even began to shake the foundation of its prosperity over the past two decades. Therefore, we must push forward in this wave of anti-globalization. Now is the time for us to remain calm and learn to push against the tide, so that we can break the deadlock of the zero-sum game through innovation and realize the transition from high-speed growth to high-quality development.
Chongqing is a microcosm of China’s manufacturing industry, and it is currently in a transition period. Tencent is cooperating with Changan Automobile on the smart connection between people and various services in the car so that in the future, we can do a lot of things like using massaging apps, playing music, turning on the radio, making payments with our voice while driving. All this requires Tencent not only to utilize its massive digital resources, but also to apply its technologies in the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. In addition, Tencent is working with the Chongqing government and companies on building an intelligent super-computing center. The company is focusing on using digital technology to integrate the data of all processes of automobile manufacturing, and developing solutions through high-performance computing and analyzing for the optimization of R&D, manufacturing, and so forth.
Ma Huateng said that in the face of an unprecedented digital transformation, we must be ready for the “marathon”. China’s digital process has expanded from the economic field to all sectors in society, including people’s everyday life, government affairs, etc. Meanwhile, digital innovation is merging into all vertical domains and beginning to penetrate into various industries. We need to carry forward the spirit of “digital craftsmanship”, and polish every detail of our improvements. We also need to help more people cross the digital divide by making digital products and services that are more compatible with customers, thus enabling them, especially, the disadvantaged groups, the elderly, the poor and people living in remote areas to share the digital dividends.
Tencent is actively cooperating with various industries in Chongqing on jointly promoting digitalization and the smart industry. At the event, Tencent signed a cooperation agreement with the People’s Government of Wulong District on jointly developing the country’s first regional-level smart tourism platform - “Travel Around Wulong With Your Mobile Phone”(一部手机游武隆). ba
In addition, Tencent and the Chongqing government have jointly developed the “Digital Chongqing - Big Data Interaction Management System”, which integrates data of government affairs and industries including traffic, medical service, police, population, business districts, etc. The system enables the urban management to access information of the city in real time and assists them in optimizing management and decision-making. In recent years, Tencent has been actively supporting the construction of digital government. For example, it vigorously participates in the construction of the digital Guangdong, and has launched three application platforms, the “粤省事” mini program, the Guangdong government service network, and the collaborative office platform, covering people’s life, businesses, and government administration respectively. Among them, the “粤省事” mini program launched in May this year provides local citizens with access to 156 public services on WeChat. Up to now, the number of registered users of the mini program has reached 3.38 million, and average daily visits have reached 1.79 million. Moreover, the mini program has processed a total of 22.025 million inquiries.
Tencent has also been cooperating with the Chongqing police on cracking down cybercrimes and ensure cyber security. In May 2017, the company launched the “Tencent 110” public tip-off platform and established its operational team in Chongqing. Through tip-offs from users and Tencent’s big data analysis, the platform recently helped the Chongqing police cracked a “illegal stocks recommending” fraud case, smashing six crime rings and arresting more than 300 suspects.
Ma Huateng expressed that our basic research in science and technology is still weak, and we don’t have many unique innovations. Now is the time for our government, enterprises, academic and research institutions to work together to change the status quo. We should not give up the dream of scoring stunning goals in the science and technology arena. And he said he had been thinking about the following questions: How can we enable scientists to really get the respect they deserve? How can we create a working environment where talents in science and technology can truly devote themselves to their work without being disturbed? How can we open up the green channel that connects basic research and technological innovation?
In order to make more people understand the prospects of digital transformation, Tencent has built an exhibition area covering more than 2,000 square meters at the Expo, showcasing Tencent’s latest products in digital government, smart transportation, smart travel, smart life, etc. Participants will have the opportunity to experience the smart life made possible by cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, self-driving technology, and so forth. In addition, the T-Day (Tencent User Open Day), Tencent’s first large-scale interactive experience exhibition highlighting cutting-edge technologies also kicked off in Chongqing, where guests can experience AI, VR, eye tracking, facial recognition, speech recognition, etc.
The following is the full text of Ma Huateng’s speech:
Dear Secretary Chen, Mayor Tang, leaders, experts and friends from the media, good morning, everyone!
It is a great honor to attend the Smart China Expo and to come to Chongqing again. I remember that 4 months ago, we held the largest “Internet Plus” & Digital Economy Summit in Tencent’s history in Chongqing, and more than 6,000 people came to the scene. But today, we have far more than a few thousand people. We see so many guests from the political, industrial, academic and business sectors at home and abroad gathering in Chongqing. Here, I can feel that you are pumped up for technological innovation, just as you must taste the famous hot pot when you are in Chongqing. It is indeed an exciting start. Tencent will devote itself to this feast of innovation.
This time we have built a 2,000-square-meter exhibition area, which is also the largest exhibition staged by Tencent. At the Expo, people can experience a range of latest products created by Tencent for individuals, businesses and government, and understand how digital technology can lead us to the intelligent life. Tencent will also sign a series of cooperation agreements in Chongqing this afternoon. Just as the goal we set four months ago, Tencent hopes to become the digital assistant in all walks of life. We will help to promote the digital transformation of all sectors in Chongqing by providing the most effective digital interface and the most abundant digital toolbox, and together with the Chongqing government and local enterprises, we will build a digital ecosystem to promote the innovation and development of the smart industry.
In the past four months, our industries have been influenced by factors such as the Sino-US trade frictions. In the new situation, how do we develop digital technology and the smart industry? I would like to take this opportunity to share with you a few personal views from the perspective of front-line practitioners in the industry.
First of all, we need to settle down and learn to “push against the tide”. The past 20 years have been a golden era for the development of global internet and technology industry, and China’s internet industry has achieved rapid development. After the rise of mobile internet, the proportion of mobile users in China even exceeds that in developed countries. There has been an endless stream of our innovations ba
To “push against the tide” not only requires us to hold our foot, withstand the pressure, and make sure that every decision we make is right, but also needs us to have faith in ourselves and firmly grasp the development track of transformation and upgrading. Today, I am very excited at the Expo. I have felt Chongqing’s determination to pursue high-quality development, rather than blindly chasing the speed of growth. Chongqing is a microcosm of China’s manufacturing industry, and it is currently in a transition period. We’ve seen that the number of innovators in Chongqing is rapidly increasing, and various elements of innovation are also gathering here. I’m convinced that we will break the deadlock of the zero-sum game through innovation and realize the transition from high-speed growth to high-quality development.
Here, I want to share with you that Tencent is exploring the Internet of Vehicles with Changan Automobile. This year, a “pain point” that we hope to solve is to how to realize the smart connection between people and various services in the mobile terminal, the cars. We have brought the achievements we’ve made so far to the Expo. You can experience them in Changan’s newest model the A800. In the future, we can do a lot of things like using QQ and WeChat, playing music, turning on the radio, making payments with our voice while driving the car. All this require us not only to draw on Tencent’s massive digital resources, but also to apply our technologies in the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. In addition, Tencent is working with the Chongqing government and companies to build an intelligent super-computing center. We hope to use digital technology to integrate the data of all processes of automobile manufacturing.
Second, we need to be ready for the “marathon”. Driven by a new round of global scientific and technological revolution and industrial revolution, we are facing an unprecedented digital transformation. From a broad perspective, China’s digital process has expanded from the economic field to all sectors in society, including people’s everyday life, government affairs, etc. Regarding its depth, digital innovation is merging into all vertical domains and beginning to penetrate into all industries. But the process of digitization cannot be completed overnight. In this regard, we need to carry forward the spirit of “digital craftsmanship”, and polish every detail of our new improvements from the outside to the inside, rather than just hyping the concept. We also need to help more people cross the digital divide by making digital products and services that are more compatible with customers, thus enabling them, especially, the disadvantaged groups, the elderly, the poor and people living in remote areas to share the digital dividends. Therefore, for practitioners in the internet and technology industry, each of us must be prepared to run a “marathon”.
Tencent is actively working with all sectors in Chongqing on promoting digitization. For example, we are cooperating with the Chongqing Transport Group in exploring how to let the information flow run with the flow of people and logistics. In order to help Chongqing’s logistics industry to reduce costs and boost efficiency as well as assist Chongqing in building an international traffic corridor, we are working hard to integrate logistics information of the air, road and water transport, so that we can regulate the various means of transport in real time with the help of visualized logistics big data. Another is example is the “Travel Around Wulong With Your Mobile Phone”(一部手机游武隆) phone app, which is an intelligent tourism innovation developed by Tencent and the People’s Government of Wulong District ba
Third, we should never give up the dream of “scoring stunning goals” in the science and technology arena. Many of us have watched the 2018 World Cup last month. Maybe we all hope that China’s football team will be able to play the World Cup someday in the future, and score stunning winners in the tournament. Actually, we have a similar wish in the technology field. From the industrial perspective, in the past, more people chose to invest in applications, because they knew that the investment in basic research could be immerse, and it usually took ages to see the results. In the long run, this has led to the consequence that our basic research is still weak, and we don’t have many unique innovations. I think it is time for our government, enterprises, academic and research institutions to work together to change the status quo. We should not give up the dream of scoring stunning goals in the science and technology arena. But how can we enable scientists to really get the respect they deserve? How can we create a working environment where talents in science and technology can truly devote themselves to their work without being disturbed? How can we open up the green channel that connects basic research and technological innovation? These are the questions that I’ve been pondering over recently.
Today, we see that Chongqing is also working towards this dream. We hope that digital technology and traditional industries will meet and merge at the intersection of the Yangtze River and the Jialing River, and make Chongqing an ideal place for intelligent innovation. Tencent hopes to take root in Chongqing, so that we can contribute to the city’s endeavor to become the strategic pivot of the development of the west regions and the connection point of the “Belt and Road” and the Yangtze River Economic Belt, and also to become an exemplary region of opening-up in inland China which is featured by beautiful scenery, high-quality development and high living standards. Last, thank you Secretary Chen and Mayor Tang for allowing Tencent to build its southwest headquarters in Chongqing, so that we can better contribute to the city’s development! Thank you!